Compatriots - the problems with the hotel reservations at the Richmond Marriott have been resolved, for the moment, and as of September 28th you can make a reservation at:
You may also call 800-535-4028 and when you talk to a real person it might be helpful to let them know that our block of rooms is on the "Pass Key" system.
Rooms are available for checking in on 11 Jul and checking out on 17 Jul, or any subset of those dates (as of 9:00pm 14 Dec 2019).
The NSSAR "Congress Information" Tab has been updated and there is more information there at: https://www.sar.org/annual-sar-congress/hotel-informationwww.sar.org/annual-sar-congress/hotel-information
What Days Might You Want to be There?
Friday, Jul 10 - Most attendees check in & register
Saturday, Jul 11 - Main Tours & Host Reception
Sunday, Jul 12 - Color Guard Breakfast (All VA Color Guardsmen strongly encouraged), Memorial Service, First Lady's Tea
Monday, July 13, - Opening Session, Youth Awards Luncheon, Recognition Night
Tuesday, Jul 14 - District Breakfast (VA compatriots strongly encouraged), General Session (cont.), PG's Banquet
Wednesday, Jul 15 - General Session, Afternoon Tours, Elections, Installation Banquet
Virginia Volunteers may sign up for individual events without registering for the entire Congress.
The theme of the 2019-2020 Presidential Initiatives is grounded in four R’s: Recruit, Reaffirm, Recognize and Retain. Since announcing the Initiatives at the Annual Meeting in February, dates have been set for some of the events and others have already taken place. In addition to attending the first of our National events in South Boston, I have already presented greetings to both the Children of the American Revolution in Williamsburg and the Daughters of the American Revolution in Richmond, as well as attending ceremonies in both Culpeper and Oak Grove and the National Spring Leadership Meting in Louisville, Kentucky.
The importance of Recruiting is obvious. New members are the life blood of our organization. Recruiting, however, is more than just attracting and enlisting new members. As an incentive for recruiting new members, the Chapter grant program initiated by then President Mike Elston and continued under Past President Pat Kelly will continue. I am assured that the rebate checks to the eligible chapters will be going out in the next week or so. We need to continue our work with the CAR and DAR to obtain referrals of those who might be eligible for membership. Recruiting however also includes getting members to serve on Committees, Chapter, State and National, to serve as officers at those levels, and to attract and encourage youth to participate in our Youth Programs, including the Eagle Scout Program, The ROTC/JROTC Program, The Orations, Essay, Poster and Brochures Programs. Chapter or Chapters participating in the most of these programs will again be recognized by the Wayne and Wink Rouse Award. To facilitate youth participation, financial incentives are essential. The Mark S, Brennan, Jr. Fund has been in the forefront of allowing us as a State Society to increase those incentives. I therefore have challenged the Society to add at least $15,000 to this Fund and I will personally match the first $2,000 raised. My check has already been sent and I ask you to do the same. Chapters having individuals who contribute at least $1,000 will be recognized with a streamer and donations will be counted toward commissions or promotions in the First Virginia SAR Regiment. Contributions should be made payable to Virginia SAR, with the Brennan Fund indicated on the Memo line, and sent to our Society Treasurer, Rick Elofson, 21 Paula Maria Drive, Newport News, Virginia 23606.
The second R is for Reaffirm. Every time we recite the SAR Pledge, we commit ourselves to reaffirm our commitment to defend the principles of Liberty and our Constitutional Republic against every foe. As a means of doing so, I challenge you to make every effort to attend the four Nationally recognized events in the Commonwealth. The first of these, the Crossing of the Dan, took place the third week of February. The three remaining are Martin’s Station celebrated on May 11, Yorktown on October 19, and Great Bridge in early December. Chapters having members attending all four events will be recognized with a streamer. A monument will be dedicated later in the year honoring the Culpeper Minutemen. Participation there will also be recognized with a streamer. We also will again be joining with the Society of the War of 1812 in Virginia and will be participating in two ceremonies on June 1, the first a grave marking ceremony at the Cedar Grove Ceremony at 10:00 and the second a plaque dedication at 11:30 at the Trinity Episcopal Church in Portsmouth, Virginia. A program to place markers or monuments honoring patriots and War of 1812 veterans buried or memorialized in each of Virginia’s counties at the Courthouse or other significant location, similar to the recognition given to World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam and more recent conflicts has been launched, we expect to dedicate one in Warren County this fall, and further hope to continue this project in years to come. We are also looking ahead, and as part of our Strategic Planning will develop a multi-year plan so that future dedications can include the DAR and veteran’s organizations in such recognition programs.
The third R is to Recognize. Here there is some overlap with the second R, but as envisioned, we need to focus on recognizing and rewarding those who participate in our programs, giving their time energy, and money to advance our cause. Our Youth Program participants, compatriots, spouses, schools, businesses, and friends who properly display the flag, public servants, particularly our first responders, and elected community officials all richly deserve recognition. 2019 also marks the 400th Anniversary of the arrival of indentured Afro-American at Jamestown and the Williamsburg Chapter’s its 50th Anniversary.
The last R is for Retain. The challenge here is to communicate with our members, to continuously solicit their input and provide the types of programs that will make them want to get involved. We ended 2018 with a modest but positive growth. Let’s build on it in 2019; it takes a concerted effort on all of our parts.
14 Dec 2019 Culpeper, VA
Culpeper Minutemen Color Guard flanks Len and Mary Ann Cowherd, who presented the Gold Star Families Wreath in honor of their son. Left to right: Bill Schwetke, President Tom Hamill, President-Elect Charles Jameson, Mary Ann Cowherd, Len Cowherd, CMM Color Guard Commander Michael Dennis, guest guardsman, Tim Dvořák.
Six Culpeper Minutemen Chapter compatriots participated in Wreaths Across America today at Culpeper National Cemetery, where a crowd of over 200 had gathered. President Tom Hamill, President-Elect Charles Jameson, Color Guard Commander Michael Dennis, and Bill Schwetke, participated in the Color Guard. Compatriot Len Cowherd and his wife, Mary Ann, presented the Gold Star Families Wreath in honor of their son, Lt. Leonard M Cowherd, III, killed in Iraq in 2004. Compatriot Keith Price helped with the set up for the event. The Color Guard was augmented by Tim Dvořák, who frequently joins us for events at Culpeper National Cemetery.
The Culpeper Minutemen Chapter lost one of its stalwarts this morning when Lon Lacey unexpectedly passed away. Our sympathies go to Mary Margaret, Lon III, Alan, and their family. We have lost a great friend.
12:00pm Thursday, Dec 19
Culpeper United Methodist Church
1233 Oaklawn Dr
Inurnment will follow at
Culpeper National Cemetery
Alonzo Leonard Lacey, Jr., 84, of Culpeper died Friday, December 13, 2019. He was born November 2, 1935 in Mattoon, IL to the late Alonzo Lacey, Sr. and Glenna Redman Lacey.
Mr. Lacey earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Texas at Austin. He then served in the United States Marine Corps, rising to the rank of Corporal E-4. He left active duty and entered the Marine Corps Reserve when he returned to the University of Texas where he earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence. After law school, he began a 22-year career with the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a Field Agent and was later assigned as Section Chief of Law Enforcement Arts at the FBI Training Academy, Quantico, Virginia. He retired from the FBI as Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division, New Haven, CT in 1986. He then became a faculty member at The Victoria College and served as Director of the Victoria College Police Academy in Victoria, Texas.
Mr. Lacey was a 40-year member of the North-South Skirmish Association where he was a long-time member of the Washington Blue Rifles. He was active in the Culpeper Minutemen Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) serving as head of the Color Guard and representing the SAR on the Culpeper Fourth of July Festival Committee for many years. He was also active, as a board member and guide, with the Friends of Cedar Mountain Battlefield in Culpeper County. Mr. Lacey was a member of the Culpeper United Methodist Church.
He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Mary Margaret Lacey; two children, Alonzo Leonard Lacey, III, and Thomas Alan Lacey and his wife, Jill; one granddaughter, Margaret Nicole Lacey; one sister, Laura Barbara Krasell; and one niece, Dinah Lacey.
A memorial service will be held on Thursday, December 19, 2019 at 12 p.m. at Culpeper United Methodist Church with Pastor John Hemming officiating. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service.
Inurnment will follow at Culpeper National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in his name to Culpeper United Methodist Church, 1233 Oaklawn Drive, Culpeper, VA 22701 and or the charitable organization of your choice.
On December 11, 2019, The New River Valley Chapter of the VASSAR awarded a flag certificate to Tawni P., resident of Blacksburg, Virginia.
Submitted by Jerry Ford.
8 Dec 2019 Virginia Beach, VA
The Annual Gold Star Evening for Gold Star Families was hosted by Honor and Remember, Inc for over 700 Gold Star family members at the Founders' Inn in Virginia Beach this evening. The Virginia SAR Color Guard, commanded by Southeast Region Color Guard Commander Chris Melhuish, presented the colors for the banquet. Members of the Color Guard included, Chris Melhuish of the Norfolk Chapter in command, Jeff Brown of the Thomas Nelson, Jr. Chapter, Bill & Doug Schwetke of the Culpeper Minutemen Chapter, and Kimball Thompson of the Norfolk Chapter.
The Norfolk Chapter again hosted the annual NSSAR commemoration of the Battle of Great Bridge in a formal ceremony in the new museum of Great Bridge Battlefield & Waterways History Foundation, Chesapeake, VA, on December 7, 2019. This was a joint ceremony that included the 66th annual wreath laying of Great Bridge Chapter NSDAR during which representatives of 36 patriotic organizations presented wreaths. Norfolk President Dr. Ken Hawkins and Great Bridge NSDAR Regent Bobbie Gribble shared the podium as moderators. Chesapeake Mayor Rick West read a city council proclamation designating the day as “Battle of Great Bridge Commemoration Day” and USN Commander (Ret.) Christopher Pieczyski spoke on the significance of the battle in the context of the Revolution. Virginia Society President Peter Davenport presented greetings from the Virginia Society and also, as Chancellor General, represented the NSSAR President General. State Corresponding Secretary Nancy Miller presented greetings from Virginia DAR. A combined NSSAR/VASSAR color guard performed magnificently in a variety of regular and militia uniforms. Violin and bagpipe music contributed significantly to this event that sought to honor not ourselves, but all those who heroically fought on December 9, 1775—the British for their king and the victorious Virginia and North Carolina Patriots for their liberty and rights.
The Norfolk Chapter and Virginia Society are already planning for our 10th annual commemoration for December 2020 to recognize this early Patriot victory that proved so significant to the Revolutionary cause. After their frontal assault was repulsed by the fire of Col. Woodford’s 2nd Virginia Regiment, the Culpeper Minutemen, and North Carolina and Virginia militias, the defeated forces of Tory Governor Dunmore (elements of the regular British 14th Regiment of Foot, The Queen’s Own Loyal Virginia Regiment, and Dunmore’s Royal Ethiopian Regiment) fled to ships off Norfolk, which was occupied and burned. Soon thereafter all British forces were expelled from Virginia and Chesapeake Bay. Virginians were encouraged to mobilize, declare independence, and be the first former colony to establish a constitution and a new state government by June 1776. Soldiers from Virginia, including veterans of Great Bridge, joined General Washington’s beleaguered army in time for Trenton, and much needed food, weapons, materiel, and additional reinforcements were shipped to his forces via the Chesapeake Bay.
Submitted by J. Thomas Whetstone, D.Phil.
Colonel William Grayson Chapter Represented at Annual Sergeant MAC Foundation Wreath Placement Ceremony at Quantico National Cemetery
On December 5th, Dr. Christopher N. Sheap, Flag Program Chairman of the Fort Harrison Chapter, presented a Flag Certificate and Flag Retirement Certificate to Spencer K. White, Commander of the Chimney Rock VFW Post 9660 in northwestern Rockingham County. During 2019, Spencer has overseen the collection and proper retirement of over 70 American Flags. A Flag Retirement Certificate was also presented on that date to the Grandle Funeral Home in Broadway, Virginia for its assistance in the proper destruction of these Flags. Spencer was also presented a Fort Harrison Chapter Veteran's Service Certificate in recognition of his military service. Respectfully submitted, Dr. Christopher N. Sheap